The Holy Dark Excerpt


We are but a few short weeks away from the final installment to The Black Parade series! If you aren’t caught up, here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 and half of Chapter 2. Below is the conclusion to Chapter 2. Enjoy!

“Why did a man claiming to be a demon follow me home and break my arm?”

I froze like someone dumped liquid nitrogen on me. How the hell did Lauren know about demons? The reason we were no longer friends was because I lied about what I did for a living for three years straight. Normal people weren’t allowed to know about angels, demons, and Seers. It was what had kept them sane and alive for centuries. Well, alive, anyway.

I swallowed, hoping she couldn’t see my discomfort. “What?”

“You heard me,” she said in a deathly quiet voice.

I licked my lips, trying to buy myself some time. “Lauren, are you sure that’s not the painkillers talking? You’re not making any sense.”

She glared. “You want to play this game? Okay. Let me tell you what happened. I got off work around six o’clock. Lily was at the babysitter’s. I wasn’t going to pick her up for a couple of hours, so I went home to change and start dinner. I got off the bus and there was this bearded blond guy following me. He kept it up for two blocks so I went around the corner and got my mace out. When he came around, I blasted him right in the face. He didn’t flinch. In fact, he laughed it off like I’d sprayed water on him or something. He shoved me over and told me I was supposed to send a message. When I fell, it gave me a second to get out my keychain knife. He grabbed me by the ankle and dragged me towards him. I stabbed him in the throat.”

She set her jaw, pausing for a second. “I didn’t miss, Jordan. I know where I stabbed him. It should have killed him. Instead, the guy just smiled, pulled it out, and threw it aside. He told me he was a demon and that I was to tell you to back off or they’re going to kill everyone you love. Then he broke my arm and left me there.”

Tears leaked down the sides of her cheeks. She wiped them away, but there was an echo of panic and ire as she spoke again. “So don’t you stand there and lie to me anymore. Who are you, Jordan? I could have died. I could have left my daughter to be raised by that selfish son of a bitch I divorced. Tell me the truth. You owe me that, damn you.”

I couldn’t look away. Her gaze burned into mine—accusatory, unyielding, and almost fearless somehow. She didn’t look like a girl or a waitress or a mother. She looked like a warrior who wanted her next mission.

I sat down in the chair next to her, clasped my hands, and told her.


Half an hour had passed by the time I finished. Through it all, she sat there watching me with a guarded expression. It was hard to tell how much of it she absorbed and how much she rejected, but that wasn’t really the point anymore. Normal people couldn’t be told the true nature of things unless they saw it for themselves. It was a horrible, violent situation, but somehow it left me vindicated. For years, I dumped on myself for lying to one of the only friends I had in the world. At least now I could clear the air, whether she believed me or not.

“So,” Lauren said. “You help ghosts with unfulfilled wishes cross over to the astral plane for judgment.”


“And you hunt demons.”


“And you’re married to an angel.”


She paused. “…so basically, you’re Dean Winchester.”

I made an exasperated sound. “I am not.”

She smirked. “Yeah, sure. Now that we’re done cracking jokes, am I really supposed to believe all this crap you’re telling me? That God is real and that you almost caused the apocalypse last year?”

“You said you saw the demon with your own eyes.”

“It might be explainable. He was pretty muscular, and some people actually have an immunity to pepper spray and mace. I want proof. Solid, indisputable proof that what you’re saying is real and you’re not just making up a story to get me to stop being mad at you.”

I sighed. I knew that stubborn tone. It made sense, of course. Explaining my life out loud made me sound like I was a few knives short of a cutlery. “Fine. But don’t scream, okay?”

She eyed me as I stood up and took the apple resting on her food tray. “Okay.”

I set the apple on the nightstand and grabbed the blue curtain, dragging it all the way around until no one else in the room could see us. I stood about two feet away from the apple and concentrated, unfurling my energy from inside me. Once it was flowing freely, I lifted my hand, palm flat and facing the fruit, and spread my fingers.

I closed my fist. The apple collapsed into six separate slices. Lauren’s jaw dropped.

“Did…did you just?”

I nodded, offering her a sheepish smile. “Yeah.”

She reached out her good arm and picked up a slice, inspecting it. “How?”

“I mentioned spiritual energy earlier. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like an invisible life force that can be harnessed for attack, defense, and healing. Believe me now?”

She rubbed her fingers over the nightstand, impressed that I hadn’t cut it, just the apple itself. “I’m starting to. But before we get into the massive philosophical and religious implications of what you told me…” Lauren bit into an apple slice, fixing me with a steady look. “…you care to tell me what it is you’re supposed to ‘back off’ from?”

I sighed and sat down again, rubbing my sinuses as exhaustion tugged at the back of my eyes. The coffee was wearing off. “Eight months ago, an archeologist named Dr. David Faust claimed to have discovered the thirty pieces of silver that were paid to Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus Christ.”

“Yeah, I remember reading about it in the tabloids. Why does that matter?”

“It turns out they weren’t fakes. The coins were the real silver Judas was paid. Certain items in the human world that are directly involved with events or figures from the Bible have supernatural properties. The silver is so impure that the angels literally cannot lay hands on it. Hell, they can’t even get near the things. The coins drain them of their powers until they slip into a coma and die. However, Faust was one of the few normal people who knew about ghosts, angels, and demons. He knew that if anyone found out about the coins, they’d be out for blood, so he hid them all over the globe and then went underground. Still, somehow, the demons found out and started searching for them. That’s a lot of ground to cover. The angels recruited me and the other Seers to track them down and get them all back.”

“Other Seers? What other Seers?”

“There are six of us, so far. They all awakened within the last year and were trained by the archangels. Each time we find a new piece, we hide it in a separate location so no demon can get his or her hands on it again.”

“I don’t get it. If they’re so dangerous, why not destroy them?”

I almost smiled. My girl was smart. “That’s the problem. We’ve tried everything. They won’t break into smaller fragments and they can’t be melted down by fire. We’re still trying to figure out a way to destroy them, but until then we keep them out of the demons’ hands. Right now, we’ve found fifteen of them. I’m guessing the demons are getting desperate since they went after you.”

She swept her hair away from her face, breathing deep to calm herself. “So I’m a target now? What about my daughter? Would they come for her?”

I winced. “It’s possible, but I think since they already sent a message through you, Lily’s going to be safe. But I’m not taking any chances.”

“What do you mean?”

“If they want me out of the game, that’s fine. The others can handle it. I’m not losing you.”

“Are you shitting me?” she snapped, making me jump. “You can’t just let those bastards win. You’re not a quitter, Jordan. You never have been.”

“Lauren, it’s not that simple—”

“The hell it isn’t. You hunt the bastard who did this down and feed him his own dick. All those years you didn’t tell me the truth and now you do and you’re just going to let him walk? No way. You wouldn’t.”

“I have to.”


“Because you’re all that’s left!”

She stopped mid-rant. “What?”

I smoothed my hair away from my forehead, reminding myself to calm down. Any more yelling and the nurse would come in to check on us. If she heard the conversation, she’d want to cart me off to the psychiatric wing.

“You’re all that’s left, Lauren. I can’t lose you. I don’t have anyone else.”

“Yes, you do. You’re married.”

I held up my left hand, showing her my naked ring finger. “Michael left me ten months ago.”

She covered her lips with one hand, her voice gentler now. “Jor…why didn’t you tell me?”

I offered her a wan smile. “We weren’t speaking at the time, remember?”

“What happened? I mean, I knew that he left Albany and quit his rock band, but I thought he was with you.”

I opened my mouth to answer, but then someone tugged the curtain aside. I glanced over my shoulder. The nurse from earlier gave us a timid smile, gesturing towards the door.

“I’m sorry, miss, but visiting hours just ended. I need you to leave.”


Lauren caught my sleeve as I stood. “Jor—”

“It’s okay. I won’t go far. I’ll be back as soon as they let me in. I promise.”

“I’ll hold you to that.” She let go. I nodded to her and followed the nurse out. She headed down the hallway. I waited until no one was watching. When the coast was clear, I quickly traced a cross over the door and muttered the most powerful prayer I knew to bless the entrance. It took a bit out of me, but it was a solid enchantment. No way a demon would get through it, not unless he wanted to burst into flames.

Normally, a prayer like that wouldn’t work in a public space, but I had a personal stake that tied me to the room. Everything with spiritual energy was based on rules and balance. I could only bless a place that I had a personal connection to, not just anywhere. Lauren and I had been friends for over six years now, so our souls were connected on a certain level, even though she wasn’t a Seer.

After I finished, I headed back the way I’d come in, searching through the hallway until I found who I was looking for: an angel. He was slender and dark-haired with glasses—a med student, by the looks of things. I let my energy flow out of me so it would be easy to detect and stopped him as he started to walk past.

“Hi. Um, you probably don’t know me, but I could really use a favor. Could you keep an eye out for my friend in the outpatient wing? Her name’s Lauren Yi. She has a broken arm and—”

He jerked his arm away. “I don’t take orders from Seers, least of all you.”

The venom in his voice made me draw back. I tried again. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to order you to do anything. It’s just that she’s in trouble—“

“So are a lot of people.” He started to brush past me, but I stepped in front of him.

“It’s not her fault that she’s friends with me, okay? Can you please just do this? I promise it won’t be for long.”

His brown eyes narrowed. “You promise? Like you promised you wouldn’t release the Leviathan or make a deal with an archdemon? You understand if I’m skeptical. You betrayed our Commander. I owe you nothing.”

With that, the angel stormed away, his energy crackling like lightning in his wake. I watched him go, as breathless as if he’d just punched me in the stomach. Great. I’d had the worst night of my life, now with an extra helping of guilt. Just another day in the life of Jordan Amador.

“Miss? Are you alright?” A man spoke from behind me.

“I’m fine. That guy’s bedside manner is pretty terrible,” I said, hoping the joke would mask the pain in my voice.

“Well, maybe mine is a little bit better…Seer.”

My head jerked around to see a man wearing baby blue scrubs. Dirty-blond hair, a dense beard that stretched down to his neck, and huge hands with chewed up nails. Too late, I felt the cold aura around him—the telltale sign of a demon.

I threw a punch, not caring if it connected because I just needed some space between us. He dodged it easily, grabbing my wrist and twisting it. I cried out and he wrenched my right arm behind my back, clapping one hand over my mouth. He dragged me into the empty room to our left and kicked the door shut.

“I’ve heard a lot of things about you, Jordan,” he hissed in my ear as I struggled. “They say you’re pretty smart, but I guess that’s an exaggeration. You fell for my trap even faster than I thought. So scared I’d kill your bestie that you walked right back into Albany without thinking twice. Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed.”

He turned his head until his nose met the nape of my neck, inhaling. “Still, it’d be a shame to just kill you. I want to have a little fun first. Got to see what makes you such a hot commodity that a Prince of Hell would let himself get killed over you. You must be one sweet piece of ass, baby.”

I bit down on his first finger and elbowed him in the gut as hard as I could. He grunted and let go of my face on instinct alone, but not my arm. I whirled around and kicked him in the crotch. He howled in pain. Didn’t matter that he had superhuman strength. Nuts were nuts.

I snatched my arm free and held out my hand, palm flat. “Strike!”

An invisible shard of energy sliced through the air and plunged into the upper part of his chest, spilling blood onto the linoleum. Dammit! I’d aimed too high. Not a killing blow.

“Bitch!” the demon growled and then he tackled me onto the floor. I hit it hard, the wind knocked out of me, but didn’t stop to feel the pain. I had only seconds to get the upper hand or he’d rape me and eat me and laugh while he did it.

He wrapped his huge mitts around my neck and choked me, grinning as I thrashed and scratched his arms. “Please, keep struggling. That only makes it better.”

My limbs got rubbery and numb. Less than a minute now. Come on, Amador, move!

Feebly, I grabbed the rosary dangling from my neck, wrapping it around my fingers. I slammed my fist into the side of his head. The cross dug into his temple and burned an impression into his skin. He belted out an agonized scream and let go.

I gulped in a quick breath and kneed him in the side, knocking him over onto his back. I straddled him and punched him with the rosary again and again. His blood splashed against the floor, painting it crimson. I didn’t stop until my entire arm shook with pain and my knuckles were marred with blood—both his and mine.

He lay prone underneath me, moaning incoherent words from the pain. There were imprints of the cross burned all over his cheeks, his nose, and his forehead. The son of a bitch would look in the mirror and remember not to fuck with a woman ever again.

I grabbed a fistful of his blond hair and jerked his head back so he’d meet my eyes. “Listen and listen good, shitbrain. If you ever touch someone I love again, I will shove this cross down your throat and watch you choke on it. You want to know why a Prince of Hell wanted me so bad? Now you do. I’m not a nice girl. I’m a Seer. It is my job to save the people of the world from vultures like you. Now you take that back to whoever your boss is and let him come find me, if he’s stupid enough. I’ll bury you all if I have to.”

I slammed his head against the tile. He made another hurt noise. I relished the sound. Then I stood up, unraveled the rosary from around my hand, and headed for the door. Just after I opened it, I heard an unearthly roar from behind me. He was making a last ditch attempt to stop me. I turned, reaching for the rosary again, but instead someone behind me from the hallway spoke one word.


An energy shard flew past my cheek and lodged itself in the demon’s forehead. He fell backwards, dead on the spot.

“Awful manners, these demons. No respect for their elders,” a polite male voice said from the hallway. It was one I had known for years, one that had soothed my fears and given me strength more times than I could count.

I turned to see the archangel Gabriel smiling softly down at me.

“Welcome back, Jordan.”

To be continued in The Holy Dark, hitting bookshelves April 24, 2015! Don’t forget to enter the Goodreads paperback giveaway and add it to your To Be Read shelves. Stay tuned for more!

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